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PASC XXIX Focuses on Regional and International Collaboration

New York, May 19, 2006

The Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC)—a forum to strengthen international standardization programs for the Asia Pacific region—gathered May 2-5, 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa for the PASC XXIX meeting hosted by the South African Bureau of Standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sent a delegation of eleven representatives led by ANSI vice president of international policy Gary Kushnier.

Improving collaboration between regional and international standardization efforts was a focal point of discussion at the week’s meetings. PASC XXIX set into motion a pilot project to coordinate the activities of its regional work groups on civil defense and the environmental performance of electrical and electronic products and systems with those of their counterparts at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)—ISO Technical Committee (TC) 223 and ISO TC 111. The initiative was undertaken in response to a request from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to strengthen regional-international cooperation.

PASC approved a decision to pursue a formal agreement with ISO to encourage collaboration between regional and international activities. A similar arrangement with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is now under consideration.

“PASC expresses its appreciation to ISO for its ongoing and increased collaboration with the IEC, its ongoing efforts to reduce ISO standards development time, and for implementation of an ISO action plan for developing countries in the PASC region,” said Kushnier.

Mr. Kushnier, who was reappointed chair of the PASC Standing Committee at the meeting, delivered a presentation outlining ways in which PASC might most effectively encourage ISO and IEC to work collaboratively on issues of common interest. PASC XXIX subsequently approved a resolution requesting ISO and IEC to take positive steps to:

  • harmonize, promote and implement the global relevance policies of both organizations
  • develop a shared mapping process for future work and converging or emerging technologies
  • formulate a common plan to improve engagement with consumer interests in ISO and IEC standards development
  • continue to hold regular joint meetings between the ISO Technical Management Board and the IEC Standardization Management Board

PASC also recommended continued cooperation between the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Subcommittee on Standards and Conformance and its five recognized Specialist Regional Bodies (SRB) in achieving common goals. In cooperation with the four other SRBs (the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation, the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme, the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation, and the Asia Pacific Legal Metrology Forum), PASC recently initiated a process to coordinate requests for APEC trade liberalization funding and to develop proposals for capacity building and technical infrastructure improvements in the region. The proposals will be based on the input of PASC members, and are expected to be finalized by July 2006.

The meeting included a workshop on improving regional training and available resources of national standards bodies in developing countries. Leaders of fourteen standards bodies from southern African countries participated in the week’s events. Additional key points of discussion addressed the involvement of regulators in standardization activities; accessibility; and participation of sub-regional efforts in regional and international standardization.

The next PASC meeting will be held April 23-27, 2007, in Cartagena, Colombia. For more information, please contact Steven Bipes, ANSI regional and bilateral policy director (; 202.331.3607).

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